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Land Rover Range Rover Sport 5.0 Supercharged road test report

5.0 Supercharged

With a supercar-rivalling 503bhp on tap from its supercharged 5.0-litre V8 engine, the Range Rover 5.0 has no problems ticking off 0-62mph in 5.9 seconds. Making something this big and heavy so agile is quite a challenge, but on that Land Rover has taken in its stride. It’s not quite as agile as BMW’s X5 or X6 SUVs when making sharp changes of direction, but the Range Rover Sport is still a sight to behold as it tackles corners with a gusto more normally associated with serious sports cars.

Road Test Reports Says4 star rating
A front-facing image of the Land Rover Range Rover Sport

Image number 2 of the Land Rover Range Rover SportImage number 3 of the Land Rover Range Rover SportImage number 4 of the Land Rover Range Rover Sport

Performance Performance - 5 stars

With a supercar-rivalling 503bhp on tap from its supercharged 5.0-litre V8 engine, the Range Rover 5.0 has no problems ticking off 0-62mph in 5.9 seconds. It’s not quite as brisk as a Porsche Cayenne Turbo, but the Range Rover offers more accessible performance and instant wallop off the line thanks to its use of a supercharger rather than a turbo. Top speed of 140mph ain’t bad either for a car of this size, weight and scale. The six-speed automatic gearbox is quick and seamless, and there’s a manual override function that works with steering wheel-mounted paddles for those seeking a sportier experience.

Ride & Handling Ride & Handling - 4 stars

Making something this big and heavy so agile is quite a challenge, but on that Land Rover has taken in its stride. It’s not quite as agile as BMW’s X5 or X6 SUVs when making sharp changes of direction, but the Range Rover Sport is still a sight to behold as it tackles corners with a gusto more normally associated with serious sports cars. Full-time four-wheel drive helps with traction, as does the air suspension that keeps the 2.6-tonne Range Rover Sport on an even keel. Steering feel is good for a car of this sort and one that rides on such large wheels, but it’s not as sensitive as the likes of a BMW M5’s. So, all good for the Range Rover Sport Supercharged then? Not quite, as there is a major flaw in the ride comfort of this version of the Sport. Over almost any type of road and surface, the suspension is too unyielding for it to be anything than jarring. The car fidgets and squirms its way along in normal driving and it undermines the otherwise good refinement of the car. Only the Supercharged’s overtly sporting nature saves this from being an outright disastrous mistake on the part of the suspension settings. Off-road, the Sport remains just as adept at crossing wildernesses a yak would think twice about, helped by the revised Terrain Response system.

Build Quality & Reliability Build Quality & Reliability - 4 stars

Land Rover has been working very hard to overcome some of the build problems of the previous Range Rover Sport. Minor problems, they say, have been eliminated and the revised model should be hassle-free. There are no concerns with the new supercharged 5.0-litre V8 engine as it comes from Land Rover’s sister outfit Jaguar, while the four-wheel drive system is tried and trusted. Inside, the cabin is made from many fine materials and the quality of construction is definitely a step up from the previous Sport model.

Safety & Security Safety & Security - 5 stars

Six airbags, anti-lock brakes, ESP traction control, Hill Descent Control, four-wheel drive and Terrain Response all mean there’s little to worry about when driving a Range Rover Sport. It also comes with function to help keep the car and a trailer stable when towing. The Sport Supercharged comes with an alarm, deadlocks and immobiliser to ward off any predators who might fancy this expensive SUV for themselves.

Space & Practicality Space & Practicality - 3 stars

It may be based on the hugely versatile Land Rover Discovery, but the Range Rover Sport is nowhere near as practical as its more utilitarian cousin. Most owners won’t bother about this, but the Sport is best regarded as a four seater as it’s quite a squish to get three abreast in the rear bench. There’s also a lot of intrusion from the rear wheelarches into the door apertures, which makes entry trick and potentially a little dirty if the car has been doing some muddy acts. Up front, it’s a better story where the driver and passenger are well catered for and the driver enjoys superb all-round vision thanks to the height of the Sport from the ground. The dash of the revised Sport is a cleaner looking affair, with fewer buttons and a classier look. A generous boot is accessed either through the whole tailgate lifting up or via the separately opening tailgate glass for quick reach-in access.

Ownership & Value Ownership & Value - 3 stars

Running costs for the Sport Supercharged are not for the faint of heart or wallet. Average economy comes in at 19.0mpg and you’ll be unlikely to witness this unless you drive gently on the motorway for most of your time in the car. Carbon dioxide emissions of 348g/km will punish company car drivers, while hefty insurance ratings will raid the piggy bank. Residual values for the Sport are always better with a turbodiesel engine, so don’t expect miracles from the Supercharged when it comes time to sell up. At least in the meantime you’ll enjoy almost unparalleled levels of luxury thanks to leather seats, cruise and climate controls, satellite navigation and huge alloy wheels all as standard.

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